Successful SOAP

Here's one of the rare IMG success stories from the SOAP:

Hi Dr. Barone,

I saw your post about match stories and saw that you wanted to hear about it.  I applied last year to neurology and did not match.  I had a step 1 score of 200 and step 2 was 226.  As a Caribbean graduate who didn't match into neuro… things were not looking great.

I decided to boost my resume so I sent out hundreds of emails to doctors around the country looking for a research position. I finally got an opportunity to do some research at NYU. I also found work and started working for a private practice doctor, where I got a ton of hands on experience.

Reapplied to neurology this year but still ended up not matching into neurology. But I did manage to match prelim IM… and then got a neurology position in the SOAP in California for a program that doesn't really take IMG's!!! Thought I would share that and hope it can inspire some students who are trying to make it. Thank you

A. Y.  3/26/2014


How did you find the research opportunity and the work in the private doctors office?

I got the NYU position by emailing my resume to hundreds of doctors who are involved in research... I googled all neurology research doctors. The NYU experience helped me during the interviews because I got a chance to talk about my paper and the experience that I gained and it did help me get some interviews.

My work with the private doc is in pain management.  I basically helped him with the paperwork and was in the room with him as he saw patients all day long.  I eventually learned how to do some procedures just by watching under his supervision and learned how to run a private practice just by being with him all day long.

The NYU research was separate from the private practice, so I would split my week up. Both experiences led to things to talk about during interview.


What advice would you give to students looking for similar positions?

The way to find these positions is to literally sit there and email hundreds of doctors and explain to them your situation and send resume.  Also look at craigslist because docs always need help with day to day office work.


How many programs did you apply to and how many interviews did you get?

I only applied to neuro and prelim IM.  I applied to a lot of neuro programs except for California.  I think the total was in the 80s and I applied to lots of prelim IM programs even though it cost a fortune.  This move ended up saving me in the SOAP because I didn't match neuro but I matched into prelim IM which made me more desirable since I had a PGY 1 spot. I had 7 neuro interviews in total which wasn't much.


Tell me about your experience in the SOAP?

I didn't match in neuro but matched prelim IM, then in the SOAP I applied to all open neuro spots.  Within an hour, I had a call from a California neurology program and interviewed over the phone and then had a second interview with them. Two more neuro programs contacted me and I interviewed with them as well.  The soap was very organized but I think that was because I had a prelim spot already. Then two days later, the California program sent me an offer to join them and I took it ASAP without even waiting for the next round of offers because it is too risky not to accept the initial offer!!! I didn't apply to anywhere in Cali originally, but the soap showed an opening so I gave it a try.


Category: Success

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